The gift of giving – how charity can boost your wellbeing
Giving time and money to charity is not only good for the community, it may be good for you too! Discover the benefits giving can have on your wellbeing.
More than a third of Australians (6.1 million people) do voluntary work. From working with community and welfare programs, to local sporting groups, to helping the next generation by supporting youth-based activities, it seems that Australians readily donate their time.
Australians are also extremely generous with their financial donations, offering a total of almost $7 billion to charities every year.
Sadly, many Australians are still very much in need of that extra helping hand. The latest research by The Salvation Army has revealed that nearly half a million Australian children under 10 will receive no Christmas presents this year.
By offering your time and donations, not only are you helping others, you could also be helping yourself as well. Here are five examples of how helping others can help you too:
1. A sense of wellbeing
Volunteering Australia found 95 per cent of their survey respondents associated volunteering with feelings of wellbeing and said that it makes people happier. They also reported a difference in their happiness and mood after just a few hours of volunteering work.
2. Life satisfaction
According to the most recent ABS review of volunteering, 82 per cent of people who volunteered said that overall they were satisfied (or mostly satisfied) with life, compared to 75 per cent of non-volunteers.
3. Greater levels of trust
4. New friends
Volunteering can help you create connections, find a new purpose and help give you a reason to feel energised and purposeful.
beyondblue’s policy, research and evaluation leader, Dr Stephen Carbone, says volunteering is a great way to build social connections.
“Two of the key components of maintaining positive mental health outcomes come directly from the network around us, such as friends and family, and the way we feel about our place in society overall. Volunteering takes you outside of yourself and your life and gives you the opportunity to connect with new people for a common good in society,” says Dr Carbone.